Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Just say no to cute frum stories about small miracles and G-d's providence

You know the ones I mean - where the guy stopped to daven Minchah, missed the plane and the plane crashed, or where the Rabbetzin gives up her money for Shabbat meals and finds a diamond on the fish, or whatever it was. I CAN'T STAND THEM. I'll tell you why - two simple words that say it all - THE HOLOCAUST. I am 100% sure that there were tens of thousands of people who did an amazing amount of chessed, kept taryag mitsvot properly, and what was their reward? What did Hashem do to them? He sent them to Auschwitz. Zu Torah Vezu Secharah? Moshe Rabbenu, I'm with you on this one.

Don't feed me any of the miraculous tales about people escaping the Nazis. I know they happened. I know there were those who were very lucky to escape, and who have incredible tales. But what about the rest that didn't make it? That Hashem didn't send a last minute reprieve to? Do you have any cute miracle stories about them? Did their bodies miraculously reform out of the ash spewed into the Polish air?

I'm aware that there were terrible massacres and tragedies previously in Jewish History. I also have to come to terms with how I interpret the second paragraph of the Shema. It seems that the Torah wanted us to believe that events on earth were affected by our spiritual level, but that this stopped a long time ago. Not that there isn't divine providence, but we have no way of knowing what the providence is related to.

So please don't feed me stories about how keeping mitsvot will guarantee me a good life. I'll keep them because G-d commanded me to, and I'll let Him decide whether or not I get a good life.

TRK

7 Comments:

At 4/13/2005 8:55 AM, Blogger Malka said...

Hi TRK,

thanks for the comment on my blog about answering the "million dollar question".. Indeed, much luck will be needed to define that particular question and I'm not sure that I even have the knowledge or tools to give a good "stab" at it but, the whole point is to reflect on it and I can at least do that much. I want to be as prepared as possible for whatever the Rabbi may throw at me when we finally meet!

I really like your blog and have added a link to it on mine.

Malka

 
At 4/13/2005 4:13 PM, Blogger Chai18 said...

we can't and won't ever know why things happen, as humans we are unable to comprehend why Hashem does what He does, we will never understand, nor will we ever know, there are limitations on what we are able to know and understand. it is similar to a chok, while we can and should try to give reasons to them, if it will strengthen our resolve to follow them, we will never know the true reason as to why they are there. same to world events, we can give whatever reason we want as to why good people die and bad people are rewarded, but in the end we will never know why these things happen. accept that, get over it and move on, realize that what we see is just a small piece of a much larger tapestry, yes i know its cliché, but it works. realize that what we see is only a small piece of what is truly going on in the world, time is relative, it is man made, so what we see as bad in our time, may have a different reason all together. who can truly say why someone died or why someone lived, perhaps a child died young because their purpose on earth was completed, perhaps Hashem allowed them in this world for a reason and for one reason alone, and once that is done the child is taken. sorry to sound callous or cold, but who is to say why such terrible things happen. we will never know or understand why the Holocaust happened, we can comprehend the events that led up to it and the political and historical underpinnings to these events, but we will never know the reason behind them. we are just human, this is our limitation.

 
At 4/13/2005 4:45 PM, Blogger Karl said...

Just because bad things happen as well, does not mean that you shouldent recogize the good - cute frum stories, just dont base your belief on them, or think that the reward will always be seen.
Nice Blog.

 
At 4/14/2005 9:30 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Malka,

Thanks for the link.

Chai,

I think Rav Soloveitchik stated it best in Kol Dodi Dofek - well worth a read.

Karl,

Many people base their belief on them, or use them to strengthen belief, but they just don't work for me.

TRK

 
At 4/14/2005 10:07 AM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

I don't think we can understand this on a quid-pro-quo basis. But reading through my mother's holocaust experience will show you several instances where the only possible explanation is devine intervention. You have to just recognize and accept it. It doesn't explain the why. Why her, not her sister. You just have to accept the how.

 
At 4/14/2005 12:12 PM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

PT,

But you wouldn't dare to use that as a cutsey story about how keeping mitsvot save one's life, would u?

 
At 5/04/2005 3:07 PM, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Never. I don't pretend to understand it. Anyone who says they do is trying to sell you something.

 

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